Friday, January 27th, 2006
A Severe tropical storm, called TS Boloetse, has formed between us and Madagascar. This storm is hanging just outside Reunion and off the Malagasy coast with high winds and high seas; the Captain has decided that we will wait for it to carry on by. The storm is dodging and weaving right in our way. So we are still in Le Reunion, not that we mind that much—fresh baguettes, great wine, and still so much to do here (it is so cool in the mountains!) that there weren’t too many complaints! We will wait until Monday morning and hopefully then it will be clear for us to go sailing.
So we’ve been up to all sorts. Sightseeing, as I mentioned in my last log, hiring cars and driving all around this beautiful place, eating till we can’t stand how round our bellies are, and hanging out. Onboard the watches are getting the ship ready and double-checking the rig for our turn around the Cape of Good Hope. It is important to make sure and then sure again that the rig is strong. Going around the Cape of Good Hope can be very dangerous, weird weather, large four-knot currents, and at times big seas. So we are preparing, as always, for the worst.
Ollie, Rebecca, Lynsey and Greg have been doing a lot of work on one of the port main shrouds—overhauling the turnbuckles and re-seizing—and the sailmakers are busy laying out a new main sail while we have all this room right beside the ship. The ship has been cleaned several times with our really high-pressure hose that the dock provides, and there is rust chipping and painting galore, as well as great weather for oiling the decks.
Joe has been buying up all the fresh veggies and cutting them up and freezing them. We love this, as we then have fresh vegetables much longer than usual when we are at sea. I honestly don’t think that there is anything they can’t grow here; they have beautiful sunshine and in the hills plenty of rain. The markets are chock a block full with every kind of fruit, vegetable and spice that you want.
With the extra days off in port that we now have, the crew have gone to check out the fresh water swimming holes, usually found at the bottom of the waterfalls. Picnics are prepared in the morning and there’s chatter of maybe the beach later in the day. The hire cars are back and the local bar is overjoyed that we are still here, as you can imagine!
We’ll keep you posted on the storm, but for now, we are sitting tight tied up alongside.